Rule gives Oregonians non-gender option on driver's license

Violet Tucker
June 17, 2017

"Our lives are so gendered, which is why it's important that driver licenses and other forms of IDs recognize people who are non-binary".

OR made history this week by becoming the first state in the U.S. to legally recognize non-binary, intersex and agender people on driver's licenses and ID cards. OR yesterday became the first USA state to allow residents to identify as neither male nor female on state driver's licences, a decision that transgender advocates called a victory for civil rights.

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — In a move hailed by LGBT rights groups, OR became the first state in the USA on Thursday to allow residents to mark their gender as "not specified" on applications for driver's licenses, learner's permits and identity cards.

"I very much plan to head to the nearest DMV and ask for that ID to be corrected on July 3rd", Jamie Shupe, an Army veteran who successfully petitioned for the non-binary gender option, told Reuters.

Passports in the US don't now recognize the third gender option. "It's fitting that this is before us during pride week in OR and pride month around the country".

"Gender identity refers to a person's internal sense of being male, female, or something else", according to the American Psychological Association.

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A new rule was adopted by the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles on Thursday. In a 2015 poll, 22 percent of people surveyed said they personally knew or worked with a transgender person - up 17 percent from the previous year.

Australia and New Zealand already have the option to choose an "X" gender on passports, and in India the options include "male", "female" and "eunuch".

"I'm incredibly thrilled to be an Oregonian right now", said Gibbons, who identifies as non-binary.

"My gender identity has never been male, but I feel like I have to own up to my male biology", Shupe told the Oregonian at the time.

Since Shupe's petition was granted, judges in two OR counties have granted similar petitions to transgender people. "I'm a mixture of both", Shupe said. The third option - a non-binary gender - will be reflected with an X starting July 3, 2017. OR beat to the punch California, where a broader bill is moving through the legislature to allow a gender-neutral choice on licenses and other documents, such as birth certificates.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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